Well, the end of the (traditional) working week is here again and with Friday comes a sense of relief and happiness for most workers as they ‘cut loose’ for the weekend. This anticipation of the end of the working week, is so well captured in one of my most favourite songs of all time – the 1966 Easybeats’ hit, Friday On My Mind. What a great song – catchy tune and lyrics that still resonate like an anthem for workers everywhere.
Friday On My Mind became a worldwide hit soon after it was released, and in 2001 was voted “Best Australian Song” of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association . The song in its simplicity captures the tedium and drudgery of the working week while at the same time is full of anticipation of better times.
The workforce of the sixties, when the song was released, was of course very different to today in lots of ways. Most women didn’t work and men were the sole breadwinners. And those women that did work, often had to resign once they were married! Office workers used typewriters instead of PCs and part-time and casual work was uncommon. In the 1960s, tea ladies still did the rounds, smoking in the workplace was the norm, and the standard working week was Monday to Friday – nine to five.
Fast forward to today, and the tea lady has been replaced by handwritten notes in the kitchen warning staff to clean up after themselves, and smoking is no longer permitted in, or outside, many workplaces. People are working an increasingly diverse range of hours and patterns, often related to their stage of life or family circumstances. Women’s participation in the labour force has almost doubled, they are starting a family much later in life, and having fewer children. So, with all that change why do the lyrics of Friday On My Mind still resonate?
Monday morning feels so bad,
Ev’rybody seems to nag me
Coming Tuesday I feel better,
Even my old man looks good,
Wednesday just don’t go,
Thursday goes too slow,
I’ve got Friday on my mind
I reckon it could be because no matter how much we like our jobs, time spent with family and friends doing the things we enjoy most on our own terms, trumps most jobs every time.
What do you think?
Have a great weekend.